OPINIONS

Letter to the PM > Re-establishing Transparent and Autonomous MCI

Sunday, May 20, 2012

by Dr S Arulrhaj

Chairman
Commonwealth Health Professions Alliance, UK

“Based on corruption charges the then President of MCI was arrested and MCI was subsequently dissolved. In any government or organisation, if the President is found guilty, let him be punished but the whole government does not go. Then why for MCI alone?”

Dr S Arulrhaj

To,
Shri Dr Manmohan Singhji,
Prime Minister,
Government of India,
New Delhi

Sub: Re-establishing a Transparent and Autonomous Medical Council of India

Respected Sir,

Season’s Greetings from Commonwealth Medical Association, UK and Indian Medical Association, India.

Members of the medical profession are extremely thankful to you Sir for your timely intervention to strengthen the health system of our nation by deferring the short-term medical course and other health issues of our country.

The issue of Medical Council of India (MCI) is dragging over two years, which is not good for the Medical Education of India.

MCI is the Custodian of Medical Education in India which paves the way for safe and effective health care in future to the citizen of our country.

Medical Council of India was established as an autonomous body by Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, an act of Parliament of India. It functions with nominated members from the union government, state governments, university representatives and elected members from the Indian Medical Register, all amounting to 130 members.

Based on corruption charges the then President of MCI was arrested and MCI was subsequently dissolved.

In any government or organisation, if the President is found guilty, let him be punished but the whole government does not go. Then why for MCI alone?

Board of Governors (BOG) was appointed as care takers of MCI with an assurance that MCI will be restored within one year. Six members were appointed as Board of Governors (BOG) for one year. Subsequently, after getting extension from court for one year, second team of BOG consisting of 3 members took over.

Now, for the 3rd year by an amendment, the MCI is kept in darkness and got extension for one more year.

The profession doesn’t know what is going to happen for the “Custodian of Medical Education” in India for the next year.

Medical Council of India under the control of BOG for the past two years has only acted as per the directions of the union ministry of health (MOH). The transparent and autonomous body created by an Act of Parliament has become a department of MOH, GOI. Three members are doing the job of 130 members. It is not good Sir.

The alternate system of the NCHRH (National Commission for Human Resources for Health) Bill is not accepted by the profession and parliamentarians since it lacks badly the autonomous and transparent working system. It is going to function with Government Nominees as an out post of MOH.

We, the Medical Professionals of India are very much concerned to have an Autonomous and Transparent Medical Council of India to offer Quality Medical Education in India suiting today’s climate and empowering the young medical graduates to offer the best health care to the citizens of both rural and urban India.

Our request to you Sir, to kindly look into this vital health issue and arrive at the best conclusion taking into confidence of all the stakeholders.

In the mean time we request you Sir to organise the Board of Governors Team transparently with representation to all the stakeholders as below:

– Government of India (2 Representatives)
– Medical Educationists (2 Representatives)
– Indian Medical Association (2 Representatives)
– Registered Medical Professions (2 Representatives)
– Health Active Practitioners (2 Representatives)

This 10-member team of BOG must strengthen Medical Council of India in a transparent and autonomous manner and decide the future of MCI too.

As a health conscious citizen of the nation and senior health professional of India, on behalf the Medical Profession we request you Sir, to spare your valuable time to set right the above issue, which will lead to a healthy and vibrant India.

Any support from Doctors and Indian Medical Association is with you Sir.

Thanking you, Sir,

Respects & Regards,

Yours Sincerely,

Prof Dr S Arulrhaj, MD, FRCP (Glasg)
Chairman, Commonwealth Health Professions Alliance, UK
Imm. Past President,
Commonwealth Medical Association, UK
Website: www.drsarulrhaj.com

CC: Hon. Shri. Ghulam Nabi Azad
Hon Madam Sonia Gandhiji
Shri Rahul Gandhi
National President, IMA,
Secretary General IMA
Members of Parliamentary Committee on Health

Date: 18.05.2012

Categories: OPINIONS

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7 Comments »

Comment by Dr. Tushar Kanti Nayak
2012-05-20 16:58:44

NO MORE CORRUPT BODIES LIKE MCI REQUIRED.

Ref. Letter to the Prime Minister by Dr. S. Arulrhaj.

The Medical Council of India (MCI) has many different responsibilities. Medical professionals all over the country I bet if know ABC about the role of MCI. Well, one may refer a text in Preventive and Social Medicine or Forensic Medicine to get some information. Whether it has really played any significant role in the improvement of medical education in the country is a question to be answered (by whom also no body knows).

If you go through the requirements prescribed by the MCI for establishment of medical colleges, you might conclude how primitive that document is and that itself is a reflection of the contribution of the outgone MCI had done in the matter of improving the medical education system.

Those who have witnessed how MCI inspectors conduct inspection of private medical colleges (even government medical colleges) for giving permission for admitting students into M.B.B.S. programme; and how the private college management play gimmick of those inspections would only laugh at the role of MCI. Starting with fabricated documents about patients records, to borrowed specimens for the museum and borrowed books in tne library and “hired for a day / two days” medical professionals to pose as professors to tutors working in the college before an inspection team is not a tale to tell but very much revealing.

The readers if not have played a role in any such drama would be surprised to know that healthy people from slums are hired to fill up hospital beds on the days of MCI inspections. Once an inspector, four hours after completion of rounds in the clinical wards, wanted to go to the wards for a second visit (to which the principal of the college and management were becoming reluctant, but had to bow down to pressure), and he was schocked to notice the empty beds and the wards which were very much crowded hours ago !

The MCI with the years had turned into an office for the super annuated people having contacts high up. It had turned into a den of corruption; and the opportunities to mint money has been plenty. Even the young people coming with medical degrees from foreign universities to get recognition of the council are also extorted. All the above stories do not necessarily mean that an autonomous supervising body to look after matters relating to the profession and education should not be there.

However the dissolution of MCI has also created an opportunity to conduct a thorough introspection of the MCI activities through all the past years. Now a high power committee including the members of the Board of Governors should sit down to discuss in detail how a new organization (like that of MCI) could be set up to look after the business in an effective and transparent manner.

There should be appropriate mechanism in place to create no space for corruption and malpractice in the new organization.

Without an MCI the heavens have not fallen over the earth. Things should not be done in any haste. The extension of the tenure of the Board of Governors could keep continuing for one more year if necessary i.e. beyond May 2013, to give a proper shape to the assignment.

 
Comment by ravindra chandran
2012-05-21 07:24:10

MCI is now more corrupt than before.

 
Comment by Dr.P.K.Sinha,MD,ICMR
2012-05-21 10:30:37

The purpose of the MCI should be to protect,promoteand maintain the health and safety of the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine.To promote high standards in medical education and training.
MCI should stictly follow the example of GMC i.e
Protecting the public
(quote)
” We do that by controlling entry to the medical register and setting the standards for medical schools and postgraduate education and training. We also determine the principles and values that underpin good medical practice and we take firm but fair action where those standards have not been met.

We have strong and effective legal powers designed to maintain the standards the public have a right to expect of doctors. We are not here to protect the medical profession – their interests are protected by others. Our job is to protect patients.

Where any doctor fails to meet those standards, we act to protect patients from harm – if necessary, by removing the doctor from the register and removing their right to practise medicine.”

 
Comment by Dr Sanjeev K Gupta
2012-05-21 13:09:04

The composition of MCI as suggested is not clear. What is the meaning of registered medical profession – 2 representatives and Health active practitioners – 2 representatives. The number of medical academicians should increase to at least 4 – one each from East, North, West & South Zones. There is no need of Government representatives because all recommendations of MCI are implemented only through Health Ministry. At best DGHS & Director General ICMR can be included as ex-officio members.

 
Comment by Dr. Ramesh Vardhan
2012-05-21 18:29:30

is there any action taken by m c i or govt.of india \ ministry of health! 1] for cancellation \ non-recognition of medical colleges established with false records\ wrong data. 2} doctors who are to be seen only on the day inspection\ , part time doctors ( here is an example the doctor who is working in gulf had come for a holiday for few months was appointed as post graduate examiner who worked in one of the medical colleges > 7 years ago,. 3 } the strangers seen occasional- once week ‘\ month \ at the time college function for photo section or at time of exam .[ who can provide me the answers for questions \ doubts . is there any agency \ body to clear \ to give suitable answers with an authentication — m c i \ ministry health \ the health university\ the governor \ ministry for medical education ? aalatimes . there should be some to answer , there should some kind of reward for those bring out the truth . i appreciate all those who put forward their views with hope of improving of health education of our country. there should some association teaching doctors with well established office for timely meetings at all levels. dr.ramesh vardhan.

 
Comment by Mohammed Naim
2012-05-21 20:45:08

We appreciate this letter requesting to Honorable PM of India.

 
Comment by Dr K.Gowrinath
2012-05-22 07:34:47

The letter to the Prime Minister of India by Dr Arul Rhraj might have been with good intention but in India rules can always be bent to favour the corrupt private medical colleges whether it is 130 or 10 member MCI. When there were not many medical colleges say in 1990,there was no public outcry to start more medical colleges in private sector. Even in those days, many MCI members were nominated either through lobbying or because of their political connections.Everybody knows that there is not enough medical faculty to teach in government run medical colleges itself then who wanted them to give permission to start so many private medical colleges in a small place like Pondicherry?. How can one get 80% bed occupancy in them?.The norms were diluted by the board of governers appointed by the central health minister without even consulting recognised medical associations was only to favour the private medical college managements by increasing the teacher student ratio to increase the number of postgraduates and by allowing them to increase MBBS seats upto 250 per year.There was no medical research worth mentioning in most state government run Medical Colleges and even today you can not find even a room alloted to research activity in them leave alone providing proper infrastructure and incentives for those interested in research.Are research requirements recently proposed by the MCI for promotions in Medical Colleges being followed in state government run medical colleges?. Even today, private medical colleges are being inspected mostly by government medical faculty.Then why blame private medical college managements alone?. Even Dr Ketan Desai never tried diluted the norms and in fact proposed a ceiling of 150 MBBS seats for each Medical College.Please note that one may have to spend upto one year of his life if he stops the train by pulling the chain if a government representative is not convinced about the motive.What punishment was formulated by the central government in case any private medical college does not follow the rules?. In many private medical colleges, no relieving order is given in case any medical faculty resigns due to poor working conditions. No employment provident fund facility is applied to the medical faculty in many private medical colleges as they will be easily caught in case they show ghost faculty. In these days when I can see and talk to my relative in USA, why MCI is not arranging surprise video conferencing to check whether the medical faculty as claimed by the Medical College management are alive and working or not?.A transparent and autonomous MCI is not possible unless all those involved in medical education with experience and proper research back ground are given chance to elect their representative from each teaching speciality like Anatomy or General Medicine.Applications should be called from medical faculty all over the country with norms followed for selecting the Director of medical institutes by the central government and allow the applied medical faculty to select the representative from each medical subject through election for a period of 2 years only.This move will give opportunity to everybody and no one can feel that he is a permanent member of MCI. Let there be separate wing in MCI to maintain and supervise ethics in medical practice.

 
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